There was a time when the name Rare was synonymous with quality. Whether it was the unforgivingly difficult Battletoads or the strategic smash-em-up Blast Works, games from the U.K. based developer were guaranteed to be fun. Rare would go on to create many beloved games, redefining the FPS genre with the classic Goldeneye and showing the power of the SNES with Donkey Kong Country, but just like an episode of “Behind The Music,” eventually the good times had to end. In a shocking turn of events, Microsoft purchased the company for a whopping $375 million. After joining Microsoft, Rare was put to work on various Kinect games, occasionally showing off their quirky style by crafting unique games such as the animal-breeding sim Viva Pinata.
But with the acquirement of Rare came a treasure trove of I.P.’s. Microsoft picked up big names such as Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark when it bought out the developer, and the company seemed satisfied to let these franchises rot. While Bango-Kazooie would get a poorly received sequel, Perfect Dark would return with a launch title for the Xbox 360 that was torn apart by reviewers, and Conker… well, the less said about Conker’s appearance in Project Spark, the better.
But then, hope. Microsoft began to acknowledge that Rare is more than just a developer kept around to churn out Kinect Sports sequels. Killer Instinct returned, though it was not developed by Rare. Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer showed up to a Windows event wearing a Battletoads shirt. The Battletoads returned as bosses in the Xbox One version of Shovel Knight. Microsoft creative director Ken Lobb casually mentioned in an interview that there might one day be more Banjo-Kazooie or Battletoads. It seemed that Rare was poised for a return.
Now, Microsoft is brining a grab bag of the developer’s best games to the Xbox One, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Called the Rare Replay, the collection will contain some of Rare’s best games, and also Perfect Dark Zero. The collection will span from the NES all the way up to the 360, and Microsoft claims that every game is being ported with care, ensuring that every game is pixel perfect.
Rare Replay will contain 30 games from the beloved developer, coinciding with the company’s 30th anniversary. In addition to the games, Microsoft says that the collection will contain bonuses, extras, and brand new challenges themed around the games.
The game will get both a retail release and a digital release on August 4th, 2015, and will cost $29.99.
With recently Kickstarted Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee garnering attention and Rare announcing an ambitious new pirate game named Sea of Thieves, Rare Replay will show just what made the company so great and, hopefully, what greateness to expect from them in the future.